Principles of Biogeography and Ecology - DI311

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5)







The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Assignment 1 - Biogeographical case-study report (2,000 words) (30%)
Assignment 2 - Biogeographical case-study poster (20%)
Examination - 2 hour (50%)

Indicative reading

Begon, M, Howarth, R, & Townsend, C.R (2014) Essentials of ecology. John Wiley & Sons
Cox, C, Moore, P & Ladle, R (2016) Biogeography: an ecological and evolutionary approach, 9th Ed. Wiley-Blackwell
Raven, PH (2005) Plant Biology, 7th Revised Ed. W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Understand the basics of plant biology and how this influences the formation and geographic patterning of habitats, ecosystems and biomes across the world.
Understand fundamental ecological concepts and how they apply to conservation biology.
Understand the core concepts of biogeography, including speciation, extinction, dispersal, continental drift and glaciation.
Describe the major biomes across the world and how these have been influenced by historic, as well as contemporary, factors
Appreciate how ecological and biogeographical theory can inform conservation strategies and practice, and better understand the threats to biodiversity from habitat loss and climate change

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